Browse Wines

The Morning After the Sleep Before

The starlings' share. Clouds of the birds circle over the vineyards at this time of year knowing that a fruity meal is on the cards

I turned off the light shortly after 10pm last evening and did some serious catching up, sleep-wise. I had dined in the hotel. I am glad that I won't have to again. I mean, what Bourguignon chef can screw up oeufs en meurette, that most local of Burgundy dishes that involves poaching eggs in red wine and stock with bacon? Answer: the genius-at-the-stove in the kitchens in the Hotel Mercure, Beaune.

I peeled back the curtains upon waking hoping to find the same blue skies and bright sunshine that have been present since I arrived, but my view was, instead, of fog.

Having breakfasted, I jumped in my hire car and headed off to Pernand, a village nestled in the valley behind the hill of Corton. There, the fog was reduced to a light mist and the sun, whilst not entirely having his hat on, had at least knotted a handkerchief and placed it on his cranium.

First visit: Remi Rollin. I had never been here before. M Rollin is very friendly and we tasted a fine range of wines, including a bevy of Pernands red and white. 2008 is a great success here, as at my next destination: Camus-Bruchon in Savigny.

It's always informative to taste through different vineyards of the same commune and here I had the opportunity to sample village Savigny, as well as that from the lieu dit of Aux Grands Liards and the 1er Crus of Gravains, Serpentieres and Narbantons. M Camus made some extremely profound wines last vintage.

From Savigny I rushed to Pommard for a meeting with Daniel Rebourgeon. We are the only merchant bringing these wines into the UK and I love them. We showed the 2006 Beaune 1er Cru Les Vignes Franches at our London tasting the other evening and its intensity and compaxity were plain to see: amazing in a wine well under £200 a case in bond.

Daniel's 2008s are, if anything, even paler than previous vintages. Seeing the liquid in one's glass one cannot believe that anything of substance will meet one's nose or palate. How wrong can one be?! The '08s here suit the style of the house very much and I found intense and truly beautiful wines. Daniel knows exactly what he thinks burgundy should be and I find myself concurring with his pronouncements. This is a very good source of wine from - in many cases - extremely old vines (70 years plus). I will stick with these for the foreseeable future.

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